The Vampire Society

Note: There is a new Taki post, as per usual. This week the topic is the relative gap between the Cloud People and Dirt People. For podcast fans, there is a new Sunday Thoughts up behind the green door, along with some other items. Of course, you can always buy a beer for the hardest working man in dissident politics.


The boom-bust economic cycle that came with the industrial age has been a primary focus of economics for close to two centuries. Marx was the first to notice that these periodic economic crises were an inherent part of the system. He theorized that over-production was the cause, which lead to a destruction of capital. The economist Joseph Schumpeter picked up on this and gave us the term “creative destruction” to frame the busts as corrections to inefficiencies.

It is one of those truths that still haunt the modern economy. The reason the down cycle is terrifying is that economics is really about politics. When the busts come, the people get angry at the politicians. Worse yet, they can get angry at the rich people and start demanding a share of the loot. It’s why economics has evolved to prevent the bust at any cost. Seven trillion in new money was created over the last year in response to the Covid panic in order to keep people pacified.

We still have the boom-bust issue, just in small scale. A new idea goes through a familiar cycle. At first it is highly profitable for the owner. They ramp up their production to meet demand. Soon, others come up with similar products that cut into his market, thus undermining his profits. In time the profits are reduced to the barest minimum as the product becomes a commodity. In time the value to the original creator of the new product drops to zero. It is a commodity.

This is generally considered a good thing by modern economics, as it means the relative cost of goods continues to fall. It also means intellectual capital is naturally forced to innovate. The company with the hot new product knows they will have to keep coming up with hot new ideas. Otherwise, their profits will fall. On the other hand, they might seek a monopoly like we see with the tech oligarchs, which allows them to artificially maintain their profit margin.

There is another angle to this that is unique to this age. The technological revolution has created a new form of capitalism that is rooted in the creation of new ideas, particularly in the entertainment space. Like the imitators who draft on the creations of the innovators, this new process in the technological economy is dependent on the initial creative energy of an innovator. Unlike the old industrial age imitator, this new form of economic activity is highly profitable.

It works like this. The new idea for something like a movie or a type of popular music is expensive and difficult to create. It requires smart and creative people to try different things until they get a concept that works. Then they have to convince investors or an audience, often both, to give it a look. In the case of a movie, it means the risk of a box office bust. In the case of music, it means years of failure, while living on cat food. The new idea promises profit, but mostly risk.

If the new thing does well, then this is where the new entrepreneur steps into the picture and realizes the big profit. That hit movie becomes a franchise. Soon, there is a remake which is very profitable. Then subsequent remakes, reboots and spin-offs that have declining profits. Eventually, they reached a point where there is no profit in the franchise. At this point, the original concept has lost its value and often has a negative value, due to the terrible imitations that came after it.

Recent examples of this in Hollywood are legion. The Terminator franchise has become a joke due to the many sequels. So desperate to squeeze the final pennies from the idea, they have the 70-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a geriatric robot named Carl who is an interior decorator. The Alien franchise is mostly known for the idiotic reboots and spin-offs that are easily mocked. These are two ideas drained of all value, like the corpse after a vampire has drained the blood.

This happens with other things like pithy phrases. Back in the Obama years, someone used the term “crony-capitalism” to describe the tightening bonds between global corporations and the government. The phrase caught on and was in the mouth of every right-wing pundit. In time it sounded like some of them had a form of Tourette’s, in which they burped out that phrase uncontrollably. Today we have “deep state” and “globalist” getting the same treatment from the same crowd.

The thing is, these vampires who prey on new ideas are not without talent. They have a useful set of skills, in that they are able to drain every last drop of value from an intellectual property. They do so without regard to their own reputations or the reputation of the original creator. They are proud to be vampires and they are handsomely rewarded for their skill. In fact, they do better than the originators, who are often looking for the next concept or ignored by the imitators.

This is not confined to entertainment. A new bit of software can expect the same treatment, as most of Silicon Valley is now tuned to rapidly replicate and consume every new idea that comes along. The cable chat shows are festooned with ads for “apps” that are copies of some original. Facebook, in fact, is just a cheap knock-off of an original idea lost to the mists of time. It now is being cloned and copied by those looking to find some remaining profit from the idea.

A few years ago, an “entrepreneur” came up with the scheme to convince people that buying shaving products was difficult. Instead you should subscribe to a mail order service for razors. There was no new product or an effort to change the demand for razors and shaving products. The whole scheme was about fooling people into thinking there was a razor conspiracy. The goal was to get them to expose their neck so the vampires could get a clear shot at the artery.

Of course, this “innovation” has come in for the same treatment. The airwaves are full of ads claiming there is an underwear conspiracy that can only be solved by bespoke undergarments from a boutique maker. Instead of coming up with a better mousetrap, genius is finding a way to trick people into paying for the same mousetrap. Once the blood has been drained from that deception, it will be onto some new scheme to provide less for more, under the guise of innovation.

This has created a world that selects for the type of person able to suck every last drop of blood from a new idea. In a world where you make as much or more money from copying the ideas of others, it makes sense that people will go into that line of work, rather than the creative end. Hollywood is now full of vampires, looking to drain the blood from the next new idea. There are no “new ideas” in the movie world, because there is no one there interested in being sucked dry by his fellow vampires.

If these selection pressures exist long enough and are widespread enough, then eventually you have a world of too many vampires and too few victims. Those vampires have to feed, so they will move onto other victims. That may be where we are now in the late stages of empire. Everywhere you look the remaining bits of the original spirit are covered with vampires, looking for a clear bit of neck into which they can sink their fangs and suck some blood. Ours is a vampire economy now.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Pressure Cooker

A universal truth of life is that pressure reveals character. This is not only true in individuals, but it is also true in societies. When times are easy, all sorts of undesirable things can be overlooked. The petty corruption in government is not a big deal in a booming economy. Inequality is ignored, maybe even celebrated when times are good, because people think their time will come. It is when things turn down that all of a sudden, those issues rise up and take up people’s attention.

For the American economy, the good times have been rolling for such a long time now that it feels like the natural state of affairs. There was the very minor recession in the early 1990’s, but that was a blip. The dot-com bust at the end of the 1990’s and the mortgage crisis in 2008 were serious, but they did not impact most people. The stock markets went down, but they recovered. Some people suffered for sure, but the system seemed to right itself and for most people it was a non-event.

In fact, the two big economic crises of the last forty years are a proof that the system and the people running are just fine. This was why many middle-class people were angry at the lock downs initially. They thought it would harm the economy. When the Fed flew in on its magic carpet, showering the economy with magic fairy dust, those people relaxed and trusted the system. Those initial protests that popped up all around the country faded away in a fog of economic stimulus.

Good times do not last forever, even in an honest economy. The signs are everywhere now that this economy is headed for some tough times. Food prices are jumping like we have not seen since the 1970’s. There are strange shortages of products like beer and plastic goods. There is plenty of beer. The issue is the containers. Aluminum shortages and problems in the supply chain mean certain brands are not on the shelf. This leads to greater sales of other brands until they run low.

Inflation is one of those things that everyone feels. Even if you are a rich guy, you notice that steak is more expensive. The money is meaningless to you, but the price hike does not go unnoticed. Poor people, of course, feel it straight away. As a result, everyone starts to notice things in the market, like the shrinkflation, for example. A pint of ice cream is 14-ounces now. The potato chip bag is much larger, but there are fewer chips inside the bag. This stuff gets more obvious in bad times.

The thing is, prices going up because of demand or shortages is an honest result that people may not like, but they can accept. Changing the shape of containers to make it look bigger, but reducing the contents is dishonest. It is a fraud. Inflation will bring new scrutiny to this practice that has become common. This sort of institutional fraud is everywhere, but it has gone unnoticed for decades. With inflation, people will start noticing and they will not like it.

The institutional fraud is not just a retail phenomenon. It is everywhere. The hot new scam on Wall Street is the SPAC. This is where a company wants to go public, but their financials are not good enough for an IPO. A group of insiders then creates a shell company for the purpose of making acquisitions. It raises a bunch of money, then it goes public and soon after buys the company that wished to go public. It is how we end up with $100m sandwich shops in New Jersey.

Of course, the elephant in the room for close to a generation now is the gross inequality we see in modern America. The gap between the rich and the middle has never been larger, and it is growing quickly. Unlike the robber barons of the industrial age, these new oligarchs operate like pirates. They steal everything. Worse yet, they have unleashed a well-funded army of radical harpies to hound decent people in their work, their entertainments, and their private lives.

In good times, no one cares about billionaires. If your life is good and getting better, why should you care if some other guy is doing better? That flips around quickly when your life is suddenly under economic strain. The Democrats can yack about taxing the rich and the Republicans can lecture about class envy, but class consciousness is always a result of tough economic times. Everyone starts feeling working class in bad times, even when they are well-equipped to weather the storm.

The point is a lot of bad things have crept into the system over the last forty years of relatively stable times. As long as material concerns were met, people overlooked the fraud, the corruption, and the inequality. That long run of good times has meant the stock of these things is higher than ever. When bad times come, those problems will come roaring to the front of people’s minds. In other words, the sticker shock we are experiencing can quickly give way to a culture shock.

There is one other item to consider. The middle-class is older than ever. Those Baby Boomers on fixed incomes, checking the stock market every day are not going to take inflation very well. They will not handle the necessary correction in the stock market to ring out the fraud. Inflation and what is required to tame it will bring with it the wrath of the angry Boomer. The generational divide that has been nursed by the usual suspects will suddenly get very real if the economy goes south this summer.

Similarly, the political class is old now too. Will those angry Boomers passively accept the leadership of Joe Biden in a crisis? Can a generation of politicians selected for their mendacity and obsequiousness gain the trust of the public in a crisis? If the economy tanks this summer, the incompetence and corruption in Washington will become the only thing that matters in politics. In other words, bad times will bring all of these problems to the front in a time of dwindling tolerance for it.

The American empire is old now and that means a lot of bad habits have been normalized over the years. Shrinkflation, SPACs, media mendacity, inequality and political corruption are all troublesome alone. Over the decades, we have an abundance of all of them. They remain in the background as long as the markets are up, and we have cheap goods on the shelves. The pressure of bad times, however, will inevitably reveal the character of the empire. It will not end well.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a 15-percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Mystery Cult

The general consensus is that language and belief co-evolved as the earliest of modern human traits. It is impossible to know for sure at this point, but the logic of belief and language evolving together is easy to grasp. In order for humans to communicate abstract concepts they would have needed language. Belief, even crude beliefs like animism, are useful in communicating abstract concepts. Stories are excellent containers for transporting concepts over time and space.

The point is, belief seems to have been with us since the beginning, which means it is probably a necessary part of human society. One of the oldest large scale man-made structures is Göbekli Tepe, which was constructed when humans were just beginning to settle into fixed communities. Once we were able to organize ourselves into large, coordinated groups, we build a religious site. Some have argued that human settlement may have been driven by the need to worship.

Whatever the origins, belief plays an enormous role even today. In fact, it can be argued that belief plays a bigger role today than a century ago. Mysterious forces like privilege and institutional racism drive the public debate. These are not things that can be seen or even described. They just exist. Lives are being changed and public policy is being written on the assumption that these things exist. A century ago, everyone agreed heaven was real, but it did not drive public policy.

Not all beliefs are the same, of course. People who think the natural phenomena of the world are controlled by spirits are going to live different lives than people who work from a fixed set of religious doctrines. The spirit gods are fickle and unpredictable, while the book of rules is less so. The unpredictability of the holy book is due to the people holding it, not the book itself. It creates a standard of truth that everyone can understand and, more important, uphold collectively.

This is an important advance in human belief. In a world where the truth is whatever the guys doing magic say it is at the moment is a world of miracles. What was true yesterday can be heresy tomorrow. When the truth is written down and made permanent, the guys doing magic can always be checked against what is written on the stone tablets or the sheets of leather. Life becomes less mysterious and miracles recede to the world of fantasy, legend, and folklore.

Modern societies, despite the explosion of information from the human sciences, seem to be in reverse on the belief scale. The cult of antiracism is a good example. No one bothers to define racism and why it is the forever enemy of man. There is no effort to root it in some source of authority. The closest we get is the claim that the Founders really believed that all men were literally created equal, despite their acceptance of slavery and their writings to the contrary.

Antiracism, like so many beliefs whipsawing the modern age, is the product of the general will, this mysterious force that drives democracy. We get a glimpse of it on occasion during an election or an on-line mob. Even then we cannot know for sure, so magicians and astrologers from the court have to come in and explain how the results of the market explain the general will. You see, sometimes elections go against the general will, while other times they reflect it.

The belief system of democracy, much like communist systems, can have no text or accepted traditions, because those rely on fixed truths. In a world where the truth is fifty percent plus one, the past is always open to debate, so there can be no traditions or even fixed rules. Just as no legislature can bind a subsequent legislature, no general consensus can bind the future consensus. In communism this was perpetual revolution, while in democracy is just called the will of the people.

Interestingly, communists seemed to grasp this. They embraced the idea of perpetual revolution as a way to maintain the revolutionary energy. Even when it had burned itself out, they maintained the language of permanent revolution. Liberal democrats lack the self-awareness to grasp even this tiny bit of reality. They maintain that their revolution is constrained by the abstract principles of liberalism, even as they violate them in the name of some new mystery force like white privilege.

The power of this primitive spiritualism cannot be dismissed. The most powerful people in the world truly believe they are surrounded by dangerous forces. They have surrounded themselves with razor wire barricades and army troops. Fools insist that this is just a show and the people inside those walls know the truth, but that is just a bit of self-deception to avoid facing reality. Thye cling to this deception because they fear what will be required of them in the future.

One other aspect of this is that this new primitivism is taking hold at the time when the human sciences are opening up the natural world like never before. This new primitivism could very well be a reaction to both material prosperity and the further defining the natural world. Maybe humans need the mystery of life to remain and any attempt to unriddle it brings out our primal rage. Perhaps the more we know the more inclined we are to smash the machines and return to the past.

The last great democratic empire was fond of mystery cults. The Ancient Greeks had the Eleusinian Mysteries. which was the cult of Demeter and Persephone. It gets its name from its location at the sanctuary of Eleusis. The origins of this cult are unclear, but it prevailed well past the golden age of Athens. Roman emperors would go to participate in the mysteries. Note that moderns fell in love with things like Buddhism and Kabbala before picking up this new antiracist mystery cult.

Regardless, this is why the modern age sounds so primitive. Without some well-defined moral authority, the believers are left to conjure whatever moral authority they can from what they can observe. Like primitive man observing the winds, liberal democrats look out and try to unriddle the truth from the general will. Like the wind, its direction is ever changing, so the truth is always changing. Life in liberal democracy becomes more mysterious and frightening with each election.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Carny World

If you were to make a rule in your company that prohibited the hiring of left-handed people, over time your firm would have only righties. Sure, a few lefties would try to pass themselves off as righties and work to undermine the rule, but if you were vigilant the left-handed would be eliminated from the company. The reason for this is over time, it would become part of the culture. The left-handed, even those posing as the right-handed, would eventually be detected and removed.

This may sound a bit weird, but company culture is a real thing and these sorts of rules have been done in the past. Airlines used to hire only women as stewardesses, and they had size requirements. The women had to fit the uniform size range. This was a signal that they wanted petite, pretty girls for the job. Not only did this rule eliminate the big girls, but it also eliminated the homely. The uniform requirement and associated marketing sent a signal to the homely girls that they were not welcome.

This sort of selection works in human societies as well. If for some reason a society decided that left-handed people were dangerous or degenerate, over time the left-handed would become very rare. The lefties would have fewer mating prospects, so fewer of them would reproduce. We know this is true, because northern Europeans have a variety of eye colors. Unusual eye color became a mark of beauty, especially in women, so the result was a proliferation of eye colors.

Of course, people do not sit around thinking, “How can we create a set of cultural rules in order to eliminate the left-handed?” Cultural rules just sort of happen. They evolve through experience and the changes they create in the people. It is a dynamic that can only be understood from a distance, the distance of time. People in northern Europe did not notice the changing standards of beauty that rewarded bright eyes, light skin and light hair. They just noticed the cute blond girl in the next hut.

This is something to consider in the political realm. Different political and cultural systems select for and against different things. The Janteloven in the Nordic countries is a set of informal rules of conduct. The result is a political economy that strikes most Americans as boring in the academic socialist sort of way. Generations of selecting for people inherently humble and eager for comprise means their politic-economy reflects the nature of the dominant type on these societies.

In America we see the opposite. Democracy will always select for the flamboyant and dramatic, because the coin of the realm is persuasion. You cannot persuade people unless they notice you, so getting noticed is the top priority. This was true on Ancient Athens, where persuasion and flamboyance became precious qualities. The sophists went around promising to teach young men of wealth how to be gifted orators, which meant being able to hold a crowd and make compelling arguments.

Of course, there are many ways to get the attention of the people. Until fairly recent in America, this meant doing something important. Generals used to make good presidents, because they had done attention getting deeds and been trained in how to speak to men in order to convince them of the cause. Successful lawyers were always good at politics, because they are selected for their ability to persuade. Into the 20th century, America was largely ruled by lawyers and generals.

The mass media age has changed this dynamic. Ronald Reagan was the first carny to become President. They say television elected Kennedy over Nixon, which may be true, but Reagan was the first pure carny act to exploit mass media. Bill Clinton hired Hollywood producers to sell his candidacy, based on his observations of how Reagan used mass media. The Clintons revolutionized media relations. Instead of responding to the media, they perfected the manipulation of it.

Over the last forty years, American politics has been taken over by actors, performers, producers, storytellers and so on. It is just a show. If you want to be in politics, it means being a show man. You have to have an act, something you do that sets you apart from the other acts on the stage. Ocasio-Cortez is a national figure because she came up with an act that appeals to the women of her generation. She is as dumb as a hamster and has no useful skills, but she may be President one day.

This new high status type, the shameless attention whore interested only in appealing to the base instincts of the mob, is having an effect on society. Younger generations, especially the women, are relentless drama queens. The “woke culture” stuff is really just a way for talentless young women to get attention. Male video game culture seems to be a similar phenomenon. It is a way to be special without having to do anything that is difficult or demanding. You get to be a hero from the couch.

The main difference between the selection pressure we see today and natural section is that nature tends to select for a narrow utility. That which makes it more likely for your genes to continue is rewarded. Selecting for attention whores and drama queens is not making the political class better at perpetuating itself. It is hard to see how the current political class could survive a genuine crisis. Their inability to contend with a minor public health issue and urban unrest is a warning.

More important, it is hard to see how a society can perpetuate itself when it selects for the most useless people. The thing that makes life increasingly unpleasant is not the feckless carnies of the political class. The daily annoyance comes from the metastasizing army of malignant male feminists and mentally unstable females lecturing us on trivialities. We have created a surplus of people who serve no purpose other than to distract us from the things that should matter most.

For most of human civilization, carny world served society. The deviants could be sent off to the circus and the circus provided welcomed entertainment. The circus, however, was always on the edge of society, never a part of it. Inside the circus was a riot of degeneracy and mayhem, but society kept it bottled up. Today the roles are reversed, with normality marginalized and the circus operating at the center. It turns out that the end of history is a world run by carnies.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Crisis Of Conservatism

One of the subplots to the ongoing crisis in America is how various voices within official conservatism are struggling to come to terms with it. In the last years of the Obama administration, they were sure they had a good read on things. Their turn to run the system was coming up and they were busy getting their resumes ready for jobs within the next Republican administration. Then their plans took a direct hit from their own voters in 2016 and their thing has been taking on water ever since.

The neoconservatives, with their vermin-like rapacity, continue to focus on their project, regardless of what is happening. That means infiltrating the Biden administration through the foreign policy establishment and promoting the old-time religion through proxies like Liz Cheney and Lindsey Graham. It also means rooting out populists from the Republican ranks. From their perspective, the chaos is just another opportunity to warp the political process to their advantage.

The other side of official conservatism, the civic nationalist wing, finds itself a stranger in its own movement. The people they were sure they represented turned on them in the 2016 primary and remain hostile. The big stars of “right-wing” media now sound like Pat Buchanan, rather than Bill Buckley. Tucker Carlson is the biggest voice in official conservatism and he sounds like the people Conservative Inc ran out of their thing back in the 1980’s. Conservatism has an identity crisis.

Part of that identity crisis is the collapse of intellectual capital. The best minds on the Right are either in the grave or outside of official conservatism. Look around the organs of official conservatism and it is mostly kids repeating the old clichés. The rest are time servers who made their career by avoiding anything difficult. Part of the crisis is that there is no one around with the courage to question the orthodoxy or the grounding in political history to contextualize the current crisis.

The result is weird analysis like this from guys like David Brooks, arguing that the solution is to attack the people now abandoning conservatism. “Republicans and conservatives who believe in the liberal project need to organize and draw a bright line between themselves and the illiberals on their own side.” Those “illiberals” he claims, will “eventually turn to the strong man to salve the darkness and chaos inside themselves.” That’s paranoid madness, not analysis..

A less deranged analysis comes from fellow Times man, Ross Douthat, who seems to have spent some time listening to the swelling ranks to his Right. He points out that conservatives don’t conserve anything. This is an old observation of dissidents, going back to before Trump ran for president. Douthat repeats many familiar claims by dissidents about how liberal democracy destroys family, tradition and community, before it then consumes the ancient liberties it is supposed to defend.

Then Douthat inadvertently reveals the nature of the crisis within conservatism by framing what he thinks is the list of currents tearing through the Right. “What are we actually conserving anymore? is the question, and the answers range from the antiquarian (the Electoral College!) to the toxic (a white-identitarian conception of America) to the crudely partisan (the right to gerrymander) to the most basic and satisfying: Whatever the libs are against, we’re for.”

You cannot help but note that the one item on the list with any intellectual and popular vigor is identified as immoral. He uses the language of the Left to describe demographic realism as off limits. Maybe it is the need to signal his obedience to the Left or a genuine embrace of progressive morality, but the default position of the modern conservative is to treat demographics as automatically immoral. They rule out the problem when discussing the solution to the crisis.

The specter haunting conservatism is the specter of demographic reality, the same specter that is haunting America and the West. So-called conservatives like Douthat refuse to acknowledge it. In fact, they say it is “toxic” to point out that America will soon be a majority nonwhite country. The reason this bit of observable reality is toxic to professional conservatives is that the Progressives say it is toxic. They have anathematized any discussion of demographics.

The conservative political theorist Russel Kirk wrote, “A people’s historic continuity of experience, says the conservative, offers a guide to policy far better than the abstract designs of coffee-house philosophers.” The only way there can be a “people’s historic continuity of experience” is if the people actually exist. At its core, conservativism has always been about preserving the people, not their stuff. Once you stop conserving the people, conservatism is just an ornament in the liberal democratic garden.

Modern conservatives, rather than defending the historic American nation, defend the liberal democratic process. No matter the ends that result from that process, conservatives believe they must defend the process. The result has been a couple of generations of politics where one side defends the process while the other side works to subvert it for short term gain. Conservatives end up defending those subversions and the perversions they create become conservative principles.

Both Brooks and Douthat wonder if conservatism can exist within liberal democracy, but neither is willing to consider both answers to that question. They just assume the answer is it can, so the project is to figure out how. That blindness shows that conservatism cannot exist within liberal democracy. It must yield to the morality of liberal democracy, which will always be controlled by those who are able to muster fifty percent plus one in favor of the morality they favor.

The crisis of modern conservatism is that conservatism must begin and end with the conservation of the people. What conservatism has become is a conservation of a system that is literally destroying the people who created it. Worse yet, it has become a defense of a moral framework that is the enemy of the fundamental conservative tenet that there is an enduring moral order. Conservatism is either the opponent of liberal democracy as practiced, or it is the tool of it.

The death of modern conservatism, and its morally ambiguous traveling partner libertarianism, is a necessary step toward a genuine alternative. It is only when the fight steps out from the prevailing moral framework of egalitarianism and the blank slate that politics can return to a debate about what is in the best interest of the people. At that point, liberal democracy recedes, and the role of leaders is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The New One True Faith

Note: The regular Monday post is up at Taki. This week it is a take on the paleo concept of anarcho-tyranny. There’s a review of Patton behind the green door. For those who like the podcast, there is a new feature behind the green door. This is a short Sunday podcast on news items from the week. If you would like to buy the hardest working man in dissident politics a beer, you can now do so here.


Upon assuming the thrown in 568 AD, the Visigoth king Reccared converted from Arian to Chalcedonian Christianity. This led to some unrest in the kingdom, as the Visigoths had always been Arian. The Arians were mostly tolerant of other religions, including paganism, but the Chalcedonians were not so charitable. Reccared put down the unrest and then oversaw the Third Council of Toledo in 589, where he announced his faith in the Nicene creed and denounced Arianism.

The spiritual differences between Arians and Catholics may be of interest to those with an interest in theology, but what matters to us today is that the trinitarians were the winners in the theological debates within the early church. From that point forward, there was one true faith in the Visigoth kingdom. The people were expected to convert to the new faith. Those who refused could expect some form of repression, ranging from extra taxes to expulsion from the kingdom.

Why Reccared converted to Catholicism is not all that clear. The material benefits, if they existed, have been lost over the centuries. His conversion brought with it new conflicts, especially with the Jews of his kingdom. The Arian kings had been disinterested in the faith of their subjects, which meant they could get along with the Jews, who were quite powerful in parts of the kingdom. That ended with the conversion of Reccared, as the Catholics were not tolerant of Jews.

What happened in Spain under the Visigoths would be repeated many times over the centuries in Europe. The ruling class would convert, and the people were expected to convert along with them. In England, which was controlled by many different kings, the Church converted one at time, the same way they converted Reccared. Of course, the same pattern would remerge in the Reformation. The rulers would change religion and the people would be forced to change their religion as well.

If you wanted to pinpoint the birth of universalism and universal intolerance in the West, the early Middle Ages is probably a good place to start. The Romans persecuted a lot of Christians and Jews, but it was mostly because they saw these movements as a direct threat to their power. By the middle ages, persecution of heretics was no longer about threats to power, but about violation of a universal truth. The mere existence of doubters or skeptics was seen as a threat to the one true faith.

The thing is, from the perspective of the common people, these changes at the top probably made little sense. Imagine you are a proud Goth who has served in the king’s army and then one day you are told you have to change religions. The reason is that the old religion was all wrong. In the case of the Visigoths, this happened twice. Once when some guy created a bunch of squiggles he claimed was your language and everyone became Arians. Then again when Reccared renounced Arianism.

People today should be able to relate to this. Within living memory, the rulers made a point of showing they were faithful Christians. Jimmy Carter was an Evangelical who spoke openly about his faith. Reagan salted his language with Christian references and Bill Clinton carried a Bible around with him. Today our rulers worship black people and think men in dresses are the fullest expression of womanhood. The schools now teach us the evils of whiteness and white privilege.

As with the Christian era in the West, this new religion brings with it an extreme intolerance of skepticism and doubt. Men are being fired from their jobs because they are not enthusiastic enough for the new faith. Those who challenge the faith are anathematized in the same way the early Church would anathematize those who challenged them. Our rulers have not started breaking heretics on the wheel or decorating the streets with the crucified, but it is still early.

We also see the universalism of the new faith. The rulers who embrace this new religion are sure it is the only way any human society can live. All of those in the past, the people that made the present possible, we monstrous sinners. Those in the present, clinging to alternative faiths, are monsters that must be destroyed. The ruling class of America wants to have a nuclear war with Russia over homosexuality. The Crusaders were insanely tolerant compared to today’s crusaders.

There are differences obviously. The universal faith that emerged in the early middle ages provided a social structure in which the West could begin to advance materially and intellectually. Whatever its faults, the Church provided a complex moral and social order that eventually resulted in what we think of as Western Civilization. The faith emerging today among our rulers is a step back into barbarism. It is a reversion to some pre-modern mean, corresponding with the collapse of the West.

The other big difference is the rulers converting to or from the Church in the past did so mostly out of conviction. There were material interests, for sure, but most genuinely believed in what they were doing. They thought what they were doing was in the best interest of their people. Today the rulers are guided by what they imagine is in the worst interest of their people. This new religion is not about elevating them or their people, but about harming the people who make their rule possible.

The other big difference between now and past conversions is the people did not have much to lose by going along with the king’s new religion. Life in the early middle ages was not easy, so giving up the old gods for this new thing or changing from one form of Christ worship to another slightly different form was not a huge risk. The conversion we are seeing today threatens the very existence of the West. If our rulers are wrong, the ape historians of the future will puzzle over why we went along with it.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Another Martyr

The Derek Chauvin trial came to a speedy end yesterday with the jury finding him guilty on all counts. What this means is they thought he intentionally caused the death of George Floyd and unintentionally caused the death of George Floyd. To a normal person, this makes no sense, but it is another reminder that America stopped being a rational society a long time ago. In a sensible society, this trial never would have occurred, because George Floyd would never have existed.

Lots of people were jubilant over the result. They do not know why they are happy, as they lack the ability to reflect on their own actions. They just know that their tribe won and that means they should be happy. That is the nature of liberal democracy. It is always about “who” and “whom” because everything is partisan. Those people celebrating are not happy for themselves. They are happy because they believe their enemies, real and imagined, are unhappy at the result.

It is not a lot different than a blood feud. When one side kills a member of the other side, it is not about righting some wrong or solving some problem. It is about adding more blood to the feud. That is how the Left sees white America. It is the people they hate and anything they can do to harm a white person is automatically good. Most of those people celebrating know nothing about the law, policing, crime, or the people involved in the incident. They just know Chauvin is white.

Of course, the other side of this, the sensible white people trying to make sense of what is happening, are not happy. Many were willing to be reasonable and meet the other side halfway on this. Maybe Chauvin was wrong or made a mistake. Maybe he should face some sort of punishment. Maybe he needs to be made an example so other cops are more careful. They thought that was the point of the system. The jury would do the right thing and find a suitable compromise.

Those sensible white people are waking up to the terrible reality of America. The system they have spent their life trusting is now as irrational and deranged as those people celebrating in the streets. America is not the land of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the other Founders. It is not the land of Abraham Lincoln. It is the land of Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez. They not only run the country, but the country also runs by the deranged logic of their minds.

For sure, many will rationalize what happened in order to stick to the old civic nationalist slogans they love so much. “This will be overturned on appeal” or “we have to take our country back from these Democrats” will get a lot of play. This is behavior of people in a cult when the tenets of the cult are disproven. Instead of accepting that beliefs were false, they internalize the disconfirmation into a justification for a more intense commitment. These people will decide to vote harder.

The parasites in Conservative Inc. will fund raise off this, telling those people desperate for answers that they will fight those liberals on their behalf. In a bankrupt society like America, every event is a chance for the grifters to grift a little bit more. You can be sure the conservative talk show hosts were popping champagne last night when the verdict was announced. There is nothing better for the conservative grift than losing, which is why they have been making sure to lose for generations.

Many though will let go of that last reed that was tethering them to the old America they grew up believing was real. Many will go through the stages of grief, maybe skipping to step three by this point. The realization that this is not their country and they are now second class citizens will not bring them comfort. It will free their mind of the frustration of believing in a myth. They will quit Red Team and start the process of looking for a new team, which will lead them to this side of the great divide.

This is the reality of a cultural revolution. The people smashing the system in the name of the revolution are beyond reason. It takes time for the rational, the people who make society function, to come to grips with it. Little by little, one martyr at a time, people do come to grips with this reality. You can be sure that every white cop in America is having the conversation with his wife right now. He may not know what to do, but he no longer sees himself and his job the way he did not so long ago.

It is frustrating, of course, for the people who have been on this side of the great divide for a long time. How is it that white people cannot see what is happening and where this must inevitably lead? The fact that no one was born on this side of the great divide, and we all made our own journey, is easily forgotten. For those on this side, this is the new normal and it is hard to imagine thinking any other way. The other side is a foreign country populated with people living a delusion.

That is the real test in these times. Those who have opened their eyes and see what is happening have to avoid being bitter about it. The job at hand is to wake up as many people as possible, ignore those who cannot open their eyes and help those staggering into the sunlight adjust to this new normal. There will be many more martyrs in the days ahead. Every war has them. The challenge is to give their martyrdom meaning so that one day, there are no more martyrs to our cause.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Narcotic Of Unreality

Imagine that fifty years ago, someone walking along a beach stumbled upon a lamp, out of which popped a genie, offering to give the person a glimpse into the future as a reward for releasing him from the lamp. The person probably would be able to suspend their disbelief and give it a go. Once he got the glimpse of the future, he would be so stunned by what he saw, that he would quickly assume he is having some sort of hallucination and run off in terror. That cannot possibly be the future.

There is no getting around the fact that our present is unimaginably weird, relative to our standards of just a generation ago. People like to laugh at what people a century ago imagined was the future, but those past predictions were based on the assumption that crazy people would not take over the country. They feared that left-wing radicals would win and impose communism. That was a legitimate fear, but mentally disturbed men in dresses was not a concern. Why would anyone think such a thing?

What makes it weirder is that we are not living in an age of bliss. We have real problems that need attention. Yet during the transition from Trump to Dementia Joe, supposedly serious people sat around a conference room table wondering how they could recruit a man in a dress to join the administration. No one in the room, presumably, bust out laughing. Some take comfort in believing that they know it is ridiculous, but there is no evidence to suggest this.

In his confirmation hearing, not a single Senator dared ask Rachel Levine to explain how we test for transgenderism. We have a simple test to determine sex. A mouth swab alone is enough. If we were to come upon the remains of person who claimed to be a third sex, how would we know? What is the difference between someone who thinks they are invisible or imaginary and someone who thinks they are a sex other than what their DNA says? Does Dr. Levine accept genetic science?

The point is, there were any number of ways to politely reveal that this person is either insane or a sociopathic grifter. Richard Levine would never have gone very far on merit, but Rachel Levine could be president one day. No one dared take this approach, because they are not allowed to challenge the orthodoxy. In the case of Senators, they have been selected precisely because they have been conditioned to never challenge the prevailing moral orthodoxy.

This is how our public discourse has become increasingly bizarre. As soon as you exclude realty from the debate, you are left with various forms of unreality. Since none of the unrealistic options can possibly lead to a solution, the debate breaks free from the problem itself. The measure acceptance is no longer about facts and reason, but some other standard. In a liberal democracy, the standard becomes attention, as in what gets you the most attention.

Take the case of Saint George Floyd, peace be upon him. The state put on a medical expert who explained Floyd’s cardiovascular condition. It is hard to know, given the bizarre testimony that followed, but the state probably hoped he would add authority to the claim that the cops were negligent when handling Floyd. On cross, he was asked a simple question. “Would George Floyd be alive today if he had just followed instructions and got into the police car as the cops asked many times?”

If Chauvin is acquitted, that is probably the moment the jury realized the absurdity of the show going on in court. This question never gets asked in any of these traffic stops that go bad, like the latest one from Minnesota. In every one of these cases, the guy getting shot could have avoided the problem by simply not being an asshole. The prevailing moral orthodoxy says you can never question the actions of a nonwhite, so the conversation veers into increasingly weird logic.

Another example is the voter ID stuff. Right now, we have the largest corporations on the planet holding secret meetings to figure out how they can overturn election laws like the one just passed in Georgia. No one dares ask these people why they think blacks are too stupid or lazy to get a driver’s license. The fact that they have no trouble getting a license is another relevant factor. Voter ID is racist because it just is. Not one dares question it, so we have these bizarre public debates.

That is the thing about the time traveling guy from the past. He probably would not notice the trannies and perverts. So much of our public debate operates outside the bounds of reason, those things would be lost in the traffic. The fact that Joe Biden is president would be enough to cause him to question his sanity. In his time, Joe Biden is just a crooked fabulist that was the butt of political jokes. No sane people would put that simpleton in charge of anything.

Twenty years ago, the great John Derbyshire once described pseudoscience as “elaborate, plausible, and intellectually very challenging systems that do not, in fact, have any truth content.” The fact that the people who are so good at creating pseudoscience have an outside role in shaping society probably explains why we live in a world dominated by boutique ideas untethered from reality. These parlor games are much more fun that facing up to the reality of life.

In fact, reality avoidance may have become something of a narcotic. Anytime reality starts to sneak into the mind of the addict, they demand some new drug or a bigger dose of the old drug, in order to solve the problem. When the reality of sex differences undermines feminist theology, a new drug called transgenderism is cooked up and distributed to the panic stricken members of the ruling class. When the reality of transvestites cannot be ignored, we get a new perversion.

The real crisis in America is not the opioid pandemic, but the unreality pandemic plaguing our rulers. As the range of acceptable debate narrows, they are left with an increasingly bizarre set of choices. In order for them to get attention, which is the currency of democracy, they must outdo the last bizarre idea. Like an addict searching for the next high, our rulers are riding a dragon of depraved reality avoidance, taking the rest of us into the abyss where all addiction leads.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Spring Of Society

Montesquieu observed that different political systems have different internal motivations, an engine that drives the people in it. He used the term principle as the thing that gave the system energy. In aristocratic systems it was the desire for honor that drove people to act. In a republic it was virtue. Instead of serving a man who was the manifestation of the state, the republican man served the institutions. He respected the office, not necessarily the office holder.

The principle of liberal democracy appears to be morality. The language of this age is drenched in moral claims. The mantra of the age is diversity, inclusion and equity, which is shot through with sentiment. How much diversity is a good thing? There is no limit, of course, as diversity is a good in itself. Equity is a purely subjective term as it means distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients. The people who make that decision are those who are at the top of the moral hierarchy.

In addition to echoing and updating sentiments from the beginning of western racialism (liberté, égalité, fraternité), the point of these sorts of slogans is to communicate civic piety between the speaker and listener. Alone they are just echolalic babbling, but when spoken or written for an audience, the speaker feels virtuous, as she assumes the listener, upon hearing these code words, will see that the speaker is pious. These terms are about signaling and confirming piety.

The problem with this is morality needs authority. In a theocracy, like in Iran, this problem is solved with Islam. The mullahs are the defenders and chief promotors of their form of Islam, so they sit atop the moral hierarchy. They provide the limits on democracy and a scale against which to measure piety. Similarly, Puritanism provided the moral authority for the early settlers in what is now New England. They had democratic societies, bound by Scripture.

Liberal democracy does not have or tolerate a belief outside the fingertips of man, so it cannot rely on established religion for moral authority. Instead, it relies upon the marketplace to provide that authority. The will of the people is formalized in elections and the marketplace. This is why the most powerful people work to make sure their opinions seem to reflect popular will. Rigging an election or faking a public opinion poll makes perfect sense when placed in the framework of liberal democracy.

The god of the marketplace has always had one very serious flaw. If Herodotus is to be trusted, the Persians were the first to notice this. They saw the Greek marketplace as nothing more than brothers lying to brothers. The seller misrepresented his products in the hope of fooling the customer. The customer misrepresented his interest in the hope of bargaining down the price. The spirit of the agora was deception, which makes the god of the market a fickle liar.

We are seeing this playout with the Covid vaccine. A mass vaccination campaign requires public trust. After all, letting someone put something in your body that you do not understand is a leap of faith. In a high trust society where the people believe the rulers have their best interest in mind, this is not difficult. In a low trust society, the rulers must search for external sources of authority. In the case of Covid, they have paraded out hundreds of experts from medicine and science.

The problem is those experts are products of the marketplace. They work for pharmaceutical companies, the political system, research outfits supported by the Chinese communist party and so on. These experts are fully democratic men in that they are products of the marketplace. They represent the interests of whoever is paying their salary at the moment, not the interest of the people. We can no more trust them that we can trust the salesman at a used car lot.

Because we are now fully democratized people, we are conditioned to assume that everyone is a product of the marketplace. Their interest in the truth is meaningless as the truth is what the market says at the moment. They are either making the market or following the trends of the market. In the case of Covid, everyone looks at the experts and wonders whose interests they are representing. The moral authority of liberal democracy turns out to be a cynicism without limit.

Something Montesquieu never mentioned, but that is relevant to this age, is the relationship between the principle of the system and its durability. John Adams famously said in a letter to John Taylor, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself”. A republic, it seems, does not do much better. The one Adams helped found was quickly dashed to pieces by his descendants. Monarchy seems to be the most durable, having been with us since the start.

The reason for this is democracy has no room for religion, while republicanism tries to contain religion within the civic institutions. Aristocratic systems, even without religion, reflect the reality of the human condition. They begin with the assumption that there is always someone one charge. The question is how that is decided and blood turns out to be the most predictable. There is no debating lineage. It is far from perfect, but it seems to be the most stable of mankind’s political systems.

Of course, just about any political system can work in a high trust, competent society, which means a homogeneous society. Both of those qualities are inversely proportional to diversity. Liberal democracy, as we see, places diversity as its highest goal, which is why it eventually murders itself. It burns the social capital built up by the preceding system until that fuel is exhausted. It turns out that liberal democracy is the sign that a people are finished and are ready to shuffle off into the history books.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Liberal Democratic Anarchy

In theory, the difference between mob rule and liberal democracy is that the former operates outside of authority, while the latter is limited by a set of principles. The former is operating in the moment while the latter is deliberative. Instead of just doing what feels right in the moment, like exacting revenge, liberal democracy has processes and limits, forcing people to think about what they are doing before they act. It is majority rule slowed to a crawl by the ideals of western liberalism.

The problem is that liberal democracy is an industrial age political philosophy that is unsuited for the technological age. Fifty years ago, information flowed primarily by words on a page, carried around by men. Television and radio sped up the flow of information, but the information still got into those networks by foot. Before it could be on television, someone had to go out to the scene, make video, carry it back to the studio and then edit it. It was still a slow world.

Today, information flows at the speed of light. A conspiracy theory can be hatched and promoted to millions on-line in a matter of minutes. As the old expression goes, a lie is around the world before the truth is out of bed. It is why the race hoax has become a phenomenon of this age. By the time the truth of the incident has been revealed, we are onto the third or fourth race hoax. These stories collectively build up in the system to the point where they cumulatively become a truth of their own.

An easy example is the Chauvin case. There are people absolutely sure he stood on the man’s neck for nine minutes. They were convinced of this by the bombardment of lies they experienced on-line. They never bothered to watch the whole video when it was finally released. Why would they? They knew and everyone around them knew that Chauvin stood on Floyd’s neck until he suffocated. It is just another example of racist cops murdering an innocent black body for the crime of being black.

In a mass media society like ours, there can be no deliberation, so the psychology is that of the mob, not liberal democracy. There can be no concern for limits and process, as we are all forced to decide by those around us on-line. That is what happens in a mob of people excited by some event. As with a school of fish or a flock of birds, each person is responding to the actions of those around him. Mob psychology is an emergent property that transcends the mentality of the members.

A very good example is the behavior of corporate America. Supposedly, the heads of the largest corporations have been plotting to undermine what is left of election integrity in America. They had a “first of its kind” conference call about Georgia. They were compelled to act because, well, everyone around them is sure that Georgia has just reinstituted Jim Crow. They know this because everyone around them knows this and all of those people are good people like them.

We live in an age in which the most powerful people on the planet, some are the most powerful who have lived on this planet, truly feel they are in a twilight struggle against forces greater than themselves. The heads of the big banks think they are the little guy facing off against some invisible goliath. Others helpfully anthropomorphize it with pictures of people waving Trump signs. The insurrection hoax is all about validating the very real fear of the most powerful people on the planet.

This is the psychology of the mob. Whatever drove the people to show up on the street is soon confirmed and becomes the identity of the whole. The individual shows up because he is angry about something. Quickly he is just another corpuscle in the organism that is the collective anger of the members. He is now swept up in the mob, like a cork on an angry sea. Even though he could have real power in his own right, he feels powerless as a part of the mob swarming around him.

This is liberal democracy in the technological age. Democracy cloaks the people who are naturally in charge of society with the concept of the public will. Public policy is not the result of one man or a group of men, it is democracy. The price and supply of goods is not the result of decisions made by specific people, but by the invisible hand of the marketplace responding to millions of silent decisions. In a democracy, no one is responsible, because everyone is responsible, so no one is accountable.

In the slow motion world of the industrial age, this headless system can work reasonably well because people have time to stop and think. In the technological age, where no one can think about anything, cooler heads are trampled into the dust by mobs pushed along by forces external to themselves. Worse still, the mob mentality is amplified, so it is not just a mob, but a deafening mob. Those will real power fear the mob, so they lend their power to the mob.

Critics looking at what is happening, assume the people in charge, the people with real power, see some benefit in the chaos. Like liberal democracy, bourgeois objectivism is an artifact of a bygone age.  In the technological age, the age of instant communication, the mob mentality is what prevails. What is good for the individual is no different than what is good for a liver cell. Individual good is subsumed into the emergent properties of the whole and the mentality of the individual is the mentality of the mob.

So much of what is happening today is just a replay of mistakes made a generation ago, often by people still in power. The assault on law and order is right out of the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. Most of the people in charge today were young adults back in those days. They should have the wisdom to see what is happening, but they care caught up in the moment like everyone else. They don’t feel like they have power, so they act like they are as powerless as the rest of us.

Liberal democracy in the technological age results in anarchy and mob rule. The consequences are inevitable. America is shaking itself to death over problems that could be mitigated with a little deliberation and respect for limits. No one has time for that as there is always another crisis, another mob demanding immediate attention for the object of their rage. Mob rule always ends in blood, either the blood of the mob or the blood of the innocent. This age most likely ends in both.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


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